Don’t Bother Hugging Your Child After You Spank Him – The Damage Is Already Done

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AB05876Yet another study has been done that proves that hitting your child elicits even more aggressive behavior. How many times do we have to prove the point that aggression begets aggression? Isn’t that obvious? The study also shows it makes no difference how warm your relationship is; physical discipline has negative effects.

From University of Michigan News:

“There is a common belief that spanking that occurs in a positive parent-child relationship will not be harmful to children,” said Shawna Lee, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Social Work.

“We were able to test that belief in this study. Spanking predicted worse, not better, child behavior over time, regardless of how warm mothers were with their children.”

Here’s the deal – if you lash out and hit your child – you’ve lost your cool. Anyone that strikes another being has just momentarily lost their shit. You can excuse it all you want – but you would be wrong. Don’t act like you deserve the parent-of-the-year award because you’ve figured out that living beings respond to intimidation and pain.

I’m not saying that I’ve never had the urge to hit my child – I have. He’s a stubborn 3-year-old. He’s absolutely impossible sometimes and totally drives me to the brink. But my unbelievable frustration and inability to figure out how to handle him doesn’t excuse physically hurting him. I take my breath and compose myself – because I am a rational adult.

Some people argue that you don’t have to lose your cool to spank. I find that even creepier. Purposely inflicting pain on a child to get them to behave creates aggressive little beings. Is that really the outcome we want? Hooray, my child is scared enough that I’m going to hurt him that he’s listening to me now! No matter that I’m molding a young mind to believe that violence and intimidation are effective ways of controlling people.

Parents use various practices to elicit positive behaviors for children. Despite numerous studies indicating that spanking increases child aggression, parents still continue to use physical punishment at high rates in hopes to see positive behavior, Lee said.

The findings, which appear in the recent issue of Developmental Psychology, reinforce the importance of adults avoiding the use of spanking.

“Use of spanking is ineffective, and only further exacerbates aggressive child behaviors,” Lee said.

Being aggressive with your child creates a more aggressive child. The end. If you’re cool with that outcome – spank away.

(photo: Getty Images)